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Why Gmail’s New Promotions Tab Is a Big Plus for Your Email Campaigns

By James Glover

Email marketers have gained access to a powerful new platform for reaching subscribers: Gmail’s new Promotions tab. Google’s latest update to the Gmail app includes a tab that’s tailor-made to showcase your most compelling B2C offers—and this gives your top content a chance to shine like never before.

Marketers have long known that email delivers the highest ROI of all digital channels, but ROI can fluctuate widely depending on how sophisticated a campaign’s targeting is.

Emails containing personalized offers are far more likely to survive spam filters, generate clicks, and deliver revenue. But even for brands that invest heavily in email personalization, the daily struggle to stand out against the spam can often prove difficult.

Gmail’s latest update aims to sharpen the contrast between meaningful emails and non-personalized junk. How? By bundling the offers most relevant to each recipient under a specialized Promotions tab, which highlights specific features of those offers, like promo codes and expiration dates.

Here’s how your brand can start taking advantage of this new feature right now — using the creative assets you’re already showcasing in your emails.

Gmail’s Promotions Tab Helps Your Personalized Offers Stand Out from the Spam

Personalized emails are powerful, so long as they are opened. In the beginning you have to create a compelling subject line and snippet of preview text to capture each subscriber’s attention. Any email with a subject line or preview snippet that fails to captivate subscribers is likely to be ignored, sent to the trash — or worse, blocked by Gmail’s spam filter. It doesn’t matter how well designed your tailored promotions are if they go unseen.

Gmail’s new Promotions tab gives your most compelling offers a far greater chance of capturing subscribers’ interest, while also keeping your brand in full control of each email’s messaging and visual appearance. Now, instead of a text-only subject line and preview snippet, your offers can show up in a specialized tab within Gmail’s iOS and Android apps — bundled by category and featuring enticing details and imagery.

In short, the Promotions tab can supercharge your power to engage subscribers with each personalized email you send — meaning your most relevant offers will get more clicks and generate more revenue.

And best of all, you can do all this without creating any new assets. With a personalization solution capable of managing a content library of creatives, you won’t need to spend any more time or resources developing new assets or messaging for Google to feature in the Promotions tab. All you need to do is paste the generated code from the Litmus tool into the email templates currently used in your campaigns and the promotional content will appear in the preview.

Sound good? Let’s take a closer look at how it works.

Litmus’s Gmail Promotions Builder Makes It Easy to Customize Email Previews

Each email preview in the Promotions tab consists of modules, including:

  • A single image preview
  • A green badge with offer details
  • A gray badge with a discount code, your brand’s logo
  • The offer’s expiration date

Although Gmail is able to pull content for all these modules directly from each email you send, you’re also free to customize the modules — which means you can fully control each preview’s appearance within the Promotions tab as well as the promo details you’d like to highlight.

You don’t need to write a single line of code, thanks to Litmus’ Gmail Promotions Builder. Litmus has teamed up with Gmail to create this easy-to-use tool, which makes the preview customization process as simple as entering a few details into a form.

Once you’ve generated the code and pasted it into your email template, Gmail users on iOS and Android will see exactly the offer details you’ve specified — along with your brand’s logo and a featured image — bundled with other brands’ relevant offers in the Promotions tab.

That’s all there is to it. It’s like upgrading from a text-only ad to a full-color spread on the front page — with just a few seconds of work, using the email assets you’ve already got.

One final important note: annotating an email doesn’t guarantee Gmail will feature it in the Promotions tab. To be featured, you still need to make sure your emails are personalized for each subscriber, containing content tailored towards that subscriber’s desires and goals.

Jordan Grossman, Product Manager at Gmail, even said, “Gmail doesn’t create value in the Promotions tab. It’s the best emails that create value. The new Promotions tab rewards brands who send truly valuable email by making them easier to find with a richer means of delivering that value.”

Google is getting smarter every day at recognizing relevant emails — and just as before, the most surefire way to generate engagement is to keep your content updated and relevant for every customer on your list.

Find out what else you can do to optimize your emails with “Go Further with Email Deliverability and Privacy.”

Read the guide